Jimquisition: Oh What A Lovely Conspiracy

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Oh What A Lovely Conspiracy

I know some folks were "disappointed" that I took my time here, but pretending the issue of "Gamergate" was exactly like the other topics I've covered before severely underplays the craziness of the past 3+ weeks. It started out as a topic full of stuff that was not my business, and when it escalated, it never stopped changing. Even after I edited this video, more and more stuff was coming out, this time suggestions that the whole thing was caused by a handful of individuals trying to astroturf.

In any case, this video tries its best to isolate the core STATED issue from everything else, because discussing media bias and what that means in practical terms is an issue that's always interested me, even if it doesn't mean I intend to join the those howling corruption. Whether those who genuinely cared about ethics were being used cynically or not, I wanna talk about it. I also want to point out how those who care need to distance themselves from the harassment that HAS been happening, if only for the viability of their message.

For further reading, I said this thing about where I think real corruption lies. I don't think it lies with a handful of bloggers, especially the freelance ones who got attacked despite being isolated from the system.

This video likely won't satisfy a lot of you who wanted blood. I'm not your private attack dog, though. These are my thoughts and if they're not good enough, sorry about that. With this, I officially leave the topic. I stand with Ganondorf.

Watch Video

Here is a great place to start the discussion http://youtu.be/HM_Z5YTop7g?t=6m2s

Edit: The video discloses actual financial documentation that IGF and Indiecade may be guilty of racketeering. Polytron and others may get prosecuted under the RICO Act

Pictures explaining if you don't have time to watch:
pic.twitter.com/MF5Ibuz6c3 Explanation by 4chan
image info pic by gamenosh

Article explaining why this is illegal:
http://gamesnosh.com/fez-investors-outed-judges-2011-igf-award/

2nd edit: (adding pictures for those who don't have time to watch the video and my own commentary) And this is why people are mad. Here is real documentation that Indiecade and IGF have a financial interest in who they select as their winner and we are still written off as nothing but spewers of vitriol and wearers of tinfoil hats.

Beautifully done "The Live" scene, Jim. Made my morning.

Even though my thoughts and Jim's thoughts tend to extremely differ, I appreciate how he took the time to really let this issue simmer instead of immediately hopping on it like a dog to a steak as many journos have done in past weeks.

I made some of these exact same points in a thread I posted last night. Needless to say, I agree with you 100%. You continue to be one of the only consistently sane voices in this hobby and I thank God for you, Jim.

God, i would really love you to sit down in a debate with Internet Aristocrat about... pretty much anything at this point. I watch both you and him to get both sides of a spin, and on this issue I tended to find myself agreeing with things from both of you. I am happy you took the high road this time around, people tend to forget it is NOT an us vs them light vs dark issue, there is a lot of grey here and sometimes the middle ground is the best ground.

I'm Spartacus!

Shit, I mean... I Stand With Ganondorf

I'm commenting in this thread whilst it's calm, before the shitstorm surrounding this GamerGate thing hits this thread too and it gets like 5,000 posts in a day. But anyway:
I really do applaud you jim, for actually waiting to talk about it and waiting things to calm down a bit.

Great video as always Jim, though I had a strange craving for Mountain Dew and Doritos while watching it.

You would like games media to be more open to criticism? I had two comments deleted flagged that refuted claims you made point by point. I'd repost them but I wouldn't want them getting me flagged again.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.859289.21346467

(pointing out why it was not our fault we didn't know the names in doritogate)

and

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.859289.21338318

(Pointing out why people flipped out on you and it was not because of politics. Also pointing to an instance you harassed someone, then blamed them when they were innocent because they didn't come out and deny fast enough.)

Edit: they were not deleted, I received warnings and the comment must be clicked on to be viewed. I edited to make sure my statement was more factually accurate.

I would like to point out that Jenn frank only disclosed AFTER people called her out for it.

Also #GameEthics is actually a "plot" from neogaf to divide #gamergate

Suddenly, I feel the need to buy lots of Mountain Dew-flavoured dildos...

Thank you Jim Sterling, and thank God for you.

I think you made some good points, Jim.

I do think this whole thing isn't so much what people say but how people say it. A lot of the dissenting opinions actually make good points, but they just say them badly.

I just don't understand why politeness is so absent from Twitter and other social media sites.

Maybe next week you can do something to return to a state a normalcy - so a video bashing EA, naturally. "We don't want to be worst company in America. Now if you don't buy this shitty installment, we kill the franchise!"

I think one of the big problems on the end of gamers is that we do have a tendency to be insanely histrionic about some fairly trivial things. Before there was GamerGate, we were trying to get people fired for reviewing games "wrong" and whatnot.

I can't speak on the "games journalism" side of things. I don't have the experience necessary, so I can only address my side of things. We are not helping with the "us and them" thing. We really do need to just take a step back sometimes. And maybe, as Jim says, this is more an internet thing than a gamer thing, but I'm not saying others shouldn't do it or don't have to. Just that we should.

MarsAtlas:
Suddenly, I feel the need to buy lots of Mountain Dew-flavoured dildos...

Hopefully, not one of the spicy flavours. *crosses legs*

Oh hell Jim, you're actually linking Leigh Alexander and the like as worthwhile to listen to? These are some of the most biased shitarticles that's been written about this. Leigh Alexander especially is INVOLVED in this, she's part of the corrupt effin cult, she's part of Silverstring Media. She wrote one of the "Gamers are dead" articles.

My regard for you is gone and replaced with contempt, and hell seeing your videos earlier was the entire reason I started going to the escapist in the first place.

off topic, but what's the FPS magical game being shown from about 4:00?

No, its good we are dragging journalists and media to this, we will still be the bad guy, but in the end we will have done the right thing for the benefit of everyone.

The gameethics hashtag was literally pushed to divide the gamergate people with jigs and lures. Most of the posts in the hastag are targeting gamers, publishers and devs, diverting attention from the PR reps, pundits, journos and bloggers. Thanks for purposefully attempting to derail the discussion, Jim.

Canyoureadmydeadpan:
You would like games media to be more open to criticism? I had two comments deleted that refuted claims you made point by point. I'd repost them but I wouldn't want them getting me flagged again.

To be fair though, Jim doesn't issue warnings himself, the mods do. That and both Jim and the mods don't have any control over site policy either, so if you have grievances over moderation the management staff are who you should contact.

OT: Another good video, I love how you've taken the measured path rather than leaping to conclusions. You do sound tired at the beginning though, hope this whole mess isn't causing you too much grieve Jim :-/

Burnouts3s3:
I just don't understand why politeness is so absent from Twitter and other social media sites.

Well, in all fairness, when you've only got 140 characters to make your point, words like "please" and "thank you" tend to be the first to get edited out of the conversation.

Of course, the bigger mistake would be to use Twitter as a pedestal to engage in such complicated and nuanced discussions in the first place.

Well, thank god the Escapist forums don't have any kind of word limit. That would just be a crock of

Mostly agree, especially that both that people need to stop being mean, but the press need to stop using that as an excuse to dismiss the userbase because of it. I also agree 100% with the idea that as long as its disclosed we are ok with it, i have said that myself on places where I have talked about the subject. I don't give a crap if the game person X was writing about was made by a person who hires Person X as a gimp, as long as its disclosed somewhere they have a connection to said person I can draw my own conclusions.

But I didn't like the snide jibe in the middle with the #gameethics hashtag message that appeared on screen. #gamergate does have discussion on ethics going on and more stuff gets queried each day, some gets debunked, some gets dug into deeper. If everyone moves over to gameethics....everyone includes the idiots so it will just be branded with the "omg you are bad people" line again and everyone will all be in exactly the same place just with a split voice (which some people imply is the idea behind it).

Now i have to preface what I'm about to say by saying yes i know some people are being idiots and being abusive, it shoudl stop, they are all morons and hopefully they will get bored soon and do something else. But if you look at the gamergate tag you tend to see more people having a go at gamergate for being abusive... than people actually being abusive. Its a weird narrative where more effort has to be expended going "look we have bad apples but its not all of us" than should be needed, but i guess that's kinda covered in the video as it is an argument that is being used in some areas to dismiss the movement.

I also disagree a bit about the Jenn frank thing, yes its bad she is not writing anymore, but the article she wrote even with the disclaimer was massively one sided and missed a lot of the points of what was happening. This sort of thing will happen when there's a move to pull articles towards the middle ground of covering both sides again. Its a shame cause she did disclose (was the editor that was the issue there) to show where her argument was coming from, i just think it was a bit too one sided for a lot of people.

All in all kudos for the video, agree with 95% of it (and 100% agree with a few points) and I just hope that when this all gets forgotten about (and it will) that some of the press actually learn from the situation, stop dismissing criticism on the topics via "your a X,Y,Z go away". I just fear it will go back to normal and when this sort of thing pops up again in a few months it will show that nothing was learnt :(

Loved this episode! So glad to see a sane voice in the middle of all this

I blame Konami even though they have nothing to do with this.

#BlameKonami

Good luck sailing through the shitstorm Jim, I wish you well.

FogHornG36:
No, its good we are dragging journalists and media to this, we will still be the bad guy, but in the end we will have done the right thing for the benefit of everyone.

That's rather extremist, terrifyingly so.

evilengine:
off topic, but what's the FPS magical game being shown from about 4:00?

Lichdom: Battlemage

As for the actual this is the first Im hearing of this and the pallyness going on is definitely something that could be a problem but Im very doubtful of any sort of conspiracy. Ethics in game journalism is definitely a topic worth addressing and improving though I also agree harassing people isn't the way to go about it

Why should we be condemning "the venom"? Harassment is bad, mmkey? Thieving, murdering, open sea piracy, grand theft auto (the crime, not the game) is also bad. A lot of other things are bad as well. See, there - i did condemn "the venom".

Now, if "the game journalism" is reallyyyyy just about stopping the harassment, could you condemn "the venom" on the side of game media? You know, like calling us "dead" and "misogynerds"?

This particular blade cuts both ways.... Im really sorry, but BOTH sides have a certain... lets call it vocal minority, that occupies themselves with mudslinging. How about we ignore them, and just focus on the issue at hand?

As far as i have seen, most people want one thing - disclosure. That's a good thing right? If you take swag, are roommates with dev, used to date them or whatever, why not just come clean, and skip later accusations?

But yeah, respect for making this video. You could pull an easy one and say "im not touching this with a 20 foot pole" - that's what i would do if stripped of my "internet anonymity". It takes balls to go out and say what your opinion is without it. It also wasn't as condescending as most of the reactions. The part with "if you realllyyyyyy mean well, which i dont think so, but if you really do..... then condemn all the bad things" was the only part i consider a bit condescending, and i don't agree with it. You might not mean it, but that what it sounded like, at least to me.

Kmadden2004:

Burnouts3s3:
I just don't understand why politeness is so absent from Twitter and other social media sites.

Well, in all fairness, when you've only got 140 characters to make your point, words like "please" and "thank you" tend to be the first to get edited out of the conversation.

Of course, the bigger mistake would be to use Twitter as a pedestal to engage in such complicated and nuanced discussions in the first place.

Well, thank god the Escapist forums don't have any kind of word limit. That would just be a crock of

I think that the problem with the internet these days relates in no small part to the terrible principles in the design of twitter.

Jim, I love that you are talking about this, but it feels like its once again along the lines of what people who are trying to shut down the movement are saying. Why are these anonymous gamers (the minority) who are idiots cause our movement to be null, but the utter vitriol and comparisons to ISIS from the gaming journalist wont hurt their cause any? Not only that, but people on the #gamergate side constantly fight against the abuse that the minority sends, yet I have seen next to no journalist call out other journalist on their vitriol.

I mean recently it has come to light that the indie awards may of been rigged by an indie investment company, so that they would profit more. Why is this not important to address?

Why is it that within 48 hours, 11 articles came out and said, "Gamers are dead" during the heat of gamergate? I wouldn't say there is a conspiracy, but I would echo what you said, there is a major cliche of the media who are trying to push an agenda.

Also, no one ever brings up the good things of this movement. TFYC has been heavily funded, which is a way females can get into game development. #notyourshield has provided a voice for minorities to speak out about this controversy, and it has brought a ton of 'buddy buddy' connections in media to surface, which are being addressed by sites such as The Escapist.

Again, what you said is right, not being listened to and dismissed causes much more frustration then there should be, but then why do we see article after article calling us misogynist, sexist, and other nasty names, but not showing the actual progress we have made away from the idiots who do harass?

Not to put anything on you, but I would point at this video as well. You have to give us the 'Benefit of the Doubt' even though the majority of people fighting are trying to fight against corruption, but only the 'Journalist' get to be seen as good people. Never are their public images brought into question, even when they compare us to freakin ISIS.

Just... blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Just a final point, your talking about #gameethics... that hashtag was started and supported by the same people who were calling people supporting gamergate misogynist, sexist, liquid trash, terrorist, etc.... how is that ethical?

Jim tries to walk a tightrope there, trying not to dissatisfy a huge chuck of his audience while still trying to keep up his contacts in the industry.

Petty...

I wonder what he thinks about the new allegations about Polytron, IndieFund, IGF and Indiecade.

PS: Sorry Jim, GameEthics died yesterday after the things about Reddit and Polytron came out.

I've been completely ignoring whatever Gamergate is over the past couple weeks because there was a much more important issue at that moment; preparing for the recent Dota 2 Techies update. Still, I have no idea why anybody gives a shit about a "game journalism conspiracy". It's like getting upset that IGN gave your favourite game less than a 9/10 or that e-sports aren't considered by a television executive to be "real sports". There's no glory crusade to fight for, and I don't see why people think bitching on Twitter is going to solve any perceived problems.

Most of this hysteria lies with the initial refusal at coverage. Places like Rock Paper Shotgun, Polygon, NeoGaf, the mass deletions on Reddit and even some on 4chan. This EXPLODED because the games media put up a big wall and said "WE ARE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS! IF YOU TALK ABOUT THIS I WILL BAN YOU AND YOU ARE A HORRIBLE BIGOT MISOGYNIST"

That caused people to go into the hands of people like InternetAristocrat and so forth who were saying a lot of things the games media were not but also had previous agendas and ideological positions much of this got wrapped up in.

Hell this whole thing is a huge mess of lots of little grievances and gripes:

-The original Zoe Quinn issue
-False DMCA take-downs (not cool, never cool)
-Accusations of cronyism
-The slandering and ostracizing of The Fine Young Capitalists campaign by people seeing them as on "The Wrong Side"
-Media projecting their own and censoring discussion and shaming people who wanted this issue to be discussed
-The obviously PR led salvo of "Gamers are dead" articles coming out in unison and pissing most people off even more.
-Phil Fish flaming out again
-Various accusations of hacking and counter hacking
-Media pundits and journalists going insane and attacking people over social media with some calling those on the other side "Worse than ISIS" and "Subhuman MRA insects".
-People calling out Clickbait and "X game is sexist" articles that push agendas.
-Details that previous harassment by Wizard Chan may false or at least reported without research.
-Issues of harassment on both sides (Yes both sides, get a grip)
-Allegations against PR firms and associates of Quinn of trumping up support
-Allegations against Indie awards of Racketeering and misconduct.
-Anita Sarkeesian being Anita Sarkeesian
-Death threads being rolling into this to try and shame people from discussion

Take your pick.

I HATE the whole #GamerGate label, it's stupid and everything really went to shit when it was adopted. It's far to broad and people keep stapling things onto it for their own purposes.

#gamergate

whut? Sorry I guess I must have missed all this. I've been busy working through my Steam Game backlog. You know playing games, to keep my ear pricked to every little twitch and rumble in the industry.

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